Japan: The nuclear disaster will be investigated again

Japan's nuclear regulator said Wednesday it plans to investigate the Fukushima disaster again, in which three reactors at an atomic power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power collapsed after an earthquake and tsunami eight years ago.

Water tank archive at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Water tank archive at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Junko Fujita y Aaron Sheldrick

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Leer en español: Japón: El desastre nuclear se investigará de nuevo

The disaster that occurred in March 2011 caused the explosion and collapse of the three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, north of Tokyo, which caused radiation that led to the evacuation of 160,000 people, many of whom never returned.

In its investigation, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) will attempt to determine where the radiation from the containment vessels of damaged reactors is leaking, as published in a document.

It will also examine the installed cooling systems to prevent overheating of molten fuel in the reactors, he said.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said it was ready to help. "If they ask us in the future, we would like to cooperate proactively in the investigation, providing the necessary data," said a spokesman.

The disaster led to the closure of all Japanese reactors, which before the accident had supplied about 30 percent of the electricity in the world's third-largest economy.

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Since then, several investigations have analyzed the worst nuclear disaster in the world since Chernobyl in 1986.

One of them concluded that Fukushima "was a man-made disaster of great magnitude, which could and should have been foreseen and prevented, and its effects could have been mitigated through a more effective response."

In 2016, the Government estimated the total cost of dismantling the plant, the decontamination of the affected areas, and the compensation, which would be 199,000 million dollars *, equivalent to approximately one-fifth of Japan's annual budget.

*(1 dollar = 107,7800 yen)

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